New Delhi/Mumbai | Jagran Technology Desk: Mumbai Police Cyber Cell made second major arrest on Tuesday, in connection with ‘Bulli bai’ app row, an online interface that had reportedly put the images of women – mostly Muslim – for ‘auction’, with photos of women showcased with the caption, “Your Bulli Bai of the day is…”. The harassment through Bulli Bai app (that was available on Github) was reportedly masterminded by an Uttarakhand-based woman who was arrested Tuesday.

Earlier on Monday, a 21-year old engineering student identified as Vishal Kumar was detained from Bengaluru by Mumbai Police as one of the suspects in the case. While the Uttarakhand-based woman accused was handling three accounts related to ‘Bulli Bai’ app, co-accused Vishal Kumar had opened an account by the name Khalsa supremacist. On December 31, 2021, he changed the names of other accounts to resemble Sikh names, Mumbai Police told news agency ANI.

The entire sequence of events surrounding Bulli Bai app row gave way to massive outrage on internet with users slamming the targeting of women on the app.

Bulli Bai App row: How Muslim women’s photos were put on ‘auction’?

The photos of women that were put for ‘auction’ on app, were sourced through their publically available social media profiles (such as Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram) and were captioned as “Your bulli bai of the day is…” Earlier, nearly six months ago, a similar app named Sulli deals (Sulli: a slur against Muslim women) had emerged that put the photos of women on ‘auction’. The app was subsequently taken down from Github.

Bulli Bai App row: What does the law say?

While Indian Penal Code doesn’t have specific punishment for online harassment but there are relevant provisions to address such harassment in the Information Technology Act and Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013. Stealing of pictures without consent attracts 354C of the IPC while 354D involves stalking.

Section 66A of IT Act underscores the ‘punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, etc’.

As per sub-clause (b) of Section 66A of IT Act, any information which a person ‘knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will, persistently by making use of such computer resource or a communication device’ shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma